It is a privilege for me, and for the publishers COMHAR, to curate this website www.portraidi.ie, and the related book Portráidí na Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge for the public. Nearly every writer featured, if not them all, has written material on the pages of the monthly Irish-language literary journal Comhar over the years. It is a natural progression that COMHAR is in a position to develop this project. It is not a comprehensive work by any means; it is merely the start. In addition to a digital portrait and a biographical note of 107 living Irish-language writers up to 2013 in Stage 1 of the project, and further material available on this website, further batches of portraits will be added to this archive on an annual basis in Stage 2. Literature in the language will be further strengthened by the continuing partnership project that has been created between Foras na Gaeilge and COMHAR to achieve the aims involved. With a further twenty four writers now added, and having also incorporated the Bord na Gaeilge portraits collection from the 1980's, we are now up to 165 writers in the archive, with a second portrait presented in a small number of entries.
We extend our thanks to the writers (who are part of this site) and their co-operation throughout, to the board of directors of COMHAR for their continuing support in this work, to Foras na Gaeilge for their long-term assistance with the project, and especially to the those people who have assiduously worked on this project along with me: Ursula Ní Choill (the Project Manager for Stage 1), Elly Shaw & Eibhlín Ó hAodhagáin (past project executives for Stage 2), Ronan Doherty (the design and technical consultant, and photographer in Stage 2) and Jennifer Gorissen & (current project executives in Stage 2); their ability and personal judgment is very much imbued in all parts of this work. We would also like to extend our thanks to the other phographers in Stage 2: Lára Ní Mhaoláin, Máirín Seoighe, Seán Ó Mainnín, and Caoimhín Ó Peatáin for their beautiful work; to the family of Máire Uí Mhaicín, who originally presented the first selection of portraits: Vivian Ó Mathúna and Caoimhe, Róisín and Áine; to Deirdre Davitt, Breandán Mac Craith, Patricia Kirwan, Ted Kelly, Caoimhe Máirtín, Máirín Nic Eoin, Niamh Ní Chonchubhair, Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, David Davison, Philip Nolan, Fidelma Ní Ghallchobhair, Paul O'Connor, Mícheál Ó Conghaile, Pádraigín Riggs, and Cathal Poirtéir.
Portráidí na Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge is an important publication and a national all-island project; an historic celebration of the literary heritage left to us by the writers contained within this archive, and also a celebration of the art of the visual image that Máire Uí Mhaicín, Bill Doyle and their successors, have brought to us, the reading public.
Dr Liam Mac Amhlaigh, Editor